Give burnt out teachers a holiday, says inspector
Seven out of 10 teachers say that their health has suffered because of their job
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Wednesday 02 November 2011
Good teachers who push themselves too hard and suffer from burnout should be given sabbaticals to recover, the new chief schools inspector has said.
Sir Michael Wilshaw, who was making his first public appearance on the Commons Education Committee since being chosen to head Ofsted, the education standards watchdog, said the issue of teachers burning themselves out was "widespread", adding: "It is a tough job in the most challenging schools."
He told MPs: "When I've noticed somebody on my staff suffering from burnout and thought, 'This is a successful person who is not backsliding and just wants time off', then I've found money to do that."
The latest research shows that seven out of 10 teachers claim their health has suffered because of their job. According to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, 51 per cent of those affected have seen a doctor and 36 per cent have taken time off.
Martin Johnson, deputy general secretary of the ATL, said the idea could "work well", bringing new ideas into schools and helping with the shortage of teaching jobs. But he added: "If job security was promised for those taking a sabbatical, heads would be knocked down in the stampede of teachers applying."
Sir Michael used the opportunity to set out his priorities in his new job. He said schools had a "hugely important part to play in society" because of growing levels of dysfunctionality.
"Schools and headteachers have got to become much more involved in the lives of children beyond the end of the school day and take a greater interest in what happens outside the school," he said. He added that raising school performance was one way of reducing the number of children ending up in care or on the streets. "If you've got a high performing school system then the number of youngsters referred to social services would be reduced," he said.
He cited figures showing that around 50 per cent of pupils failed to obtain five A* to C grades at GCSE and 200,000 left primary school each year without reaching their maths and English targets, describing this as a "serious issue".
Sir Michael also said he was anxious to change the regulations whereby schools ranked as "outstanding" by Ofsted were exempt from inspection. "Schools can decline and it's important that we know when they're declining," he said.
Jennifer Lawrence face palms Emma Watson at Christian Dior show in Paris
Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2014: Briton critically injured in San Fermin festival
Elephant 'cries' while being rescued after 50 years of abuse in India
Google executive died on yacht after prostitute gave him fatal dose of heroin, say police
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let’s see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
£110 - £120 per day + TBA: Randstad Education Reading: ICT Teacher needed for ...
£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Nursery teaching job avail...
£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunities for Welsh Spe...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: The JobRandstad Educa...